March 07, 2007
Reactions to "Jessica's Law" passage

Just some linkage to give you a feel for how the passage of HB8 was perceived.

Grits for Breakfast says the delay made the final bill worse.

Vince thinks HB8 was heavily flawed due to the death penalty provisions. He also has reactions from two legislators who voted "No", Reps. Ellen Cohen and Trey Martinez-Fischer.

The Texas Observer thinks that the hardliners will be very happy with HB8, assuming it withstands judicial scrutiny.

Inside the Texas Capitol thinks that the law is well-intentioned but will make it tougher for children to speak up.

Dig Deeper Texas wonders what it means to be "pro-life" any more.

BOR salutes the members who voted No, and has journal entries from Reps. Garnet Coleman, Borris Miles, and Eddie Rodriguez, plus a comment from Helen Giddings.

Karen Brooks gives some behind-the-scenes flavor.

Finally, Paul Burka, who considers himself a strong proponent of the death penalty, explains what exactly is wrong with this bill:

Yesterday the floor substitute added a new capital offense: Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or Children. This occurs if someone commits an offense more than once in a period of 90 days or more, or commits more than one offense. The language in the substitute says that a jury is not required to reach unanimous agreement on which day the offenses occurred or on which specific offenses were committed. In other words, if Juror A thinks that the offenses were aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault, and Juror B thinks they were aggravated sexual assault and burglary with the intent to commit sexual assault, that's OK, give him the needle anyway; and if Juror C thinks that the offenses were committed on Wednesday and Saturday and Juror D think it was Monday and Thursday, that's OK too. Does anybody really think that the Supreme Court is going to buy that a jury doesn't have to be unanimous in a death penalty case?

We'll know when the eventual lawsuit is filed. Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 07, 2007 to That's our Lege